Happy New Year’s greetings and warm wishes from the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, literally the southernmost place on the Earth!

I am looking forward to another great year for the IEEE Chicago. Here below, I attempted to outline my vision for 2020. I also welcome suggestions and ideas for our work, hoping for your active role, continued support and involvement.

(i) The main goal for 2020 is to make sure that our existing chapters, affinity groups, Fox Valley and Northwestern subsections remain healthy and active. Staying “active” implies organizing (and reporting on time!) various technical and social activities and running new member recruiting events; being “healthy” requires a meaningful rotation of the leadership and making sure that the key officers’ vacancy positions are filled. The latter is crucial to provide continuity of the Section’s work beyond 2020.

(ii) Chairs that served 3+ years will be kindly asked to organize elections. We would like to see more new people in the leadership roles, in particular young professionals.

(iii) Related to this, and inspired by Lisa’s successful efforts last year, we will continue seeking for new volunteers. We will also encourage the formation of new chapters for the societies’ and councils’ having 30+ active local members.

(iv) Of particular priority are educational activities organized and run by the student branches. I will suggest to our chapter chairs to help forming at least one student’s chapter of their society/council.

(v) In the near future we will discuss how to organize (the organizing committee, possible date/venue, logistics/agenda, budget/sponsors) the IEEE Chicago Section’s annual meeting. I would like to see this event as indeed becoming a traditional annual meeting with an active participation of all section’s chapters/groups and our two subsections. I hope the committee members who organized the last year meeting (which was fantastic!) will agree to help and guide us in 2020. I am also looking for an experienced volunteer who can help to reach to our friends among the potential sponsors interested to show-case and advertise their business with us and to support the IEEE Chicago financially.

(vi) Similarly, I believe that holding annual meetings is equality important for our Chapters. Thus, we will encourage the chapter chairs to have a conference-like (e.g. with multiple speakers) annual meeting for every Chapter; one attractive option is to have joint annual meetings for the Chapters with overlapping technical interests. I envision that these meetings will attract a substantial number of our local grad. and undergrad student members, potentially presenting posters and participating the Best Poster Awards competition sponsored by Chapters.

(vii) Together with our volunteers among the Senior Members and IEEE Fellows, I plan to organize two Membership Elevation events throughout the year. This could be an on-site or via email campaign. If you are interested to help – let me know.

(viii) I am looking forward to seeing our updated website. In 2020 will also create and maintain the IEEE Chicago’s pages on LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Tweeter. Social media-savvy volunteers are needed!

(ix) As usual, our regular ExCom meetings will be held on the 2nd week of each month, @ 7PM at DeVry University (1221 N Swift Rd, Addison, IL 60101), with remote access available. Agenda for the January’s meeting will be coming soon (please email me your suggestions!). Although, unfortunately, it does not look like I will be able to return from the South Pole in time for this meeting. I will ask Sachin to step in and run the meeting instead.

(x) IEEE Chicago will continue to support Science Kits for Public Libraries project. We will also continue to work with local universities and non-profit organizations who share the IEEE-like core values, such as Chicago’s Engineers Foundation.

(xi) Finally, and very importantly, we should keep the 2019’s momentum in reviving the work of our two sub-sections. I will welcome each subsection Chair to outline their concrete plans for 2020 and discuss how the IEEE Chicago can help during one of the upcoming ExCom meetings.

Having this opportunity, on behalf of all IEEE Chicago members, I would like to express my appreciation to our volunteers, chapters’ and affinity groups’ chairs and ExCom officers for their dedication and hard work during the last year.

Kudos and my personal “THANK YOU” to Lisa for her unbelievable energy, creativity and exemplary leadership as the IEEE Chicago’s Section Chair in 2019.

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Yours truly,


Dr Valentine Novosad
IEEE Chicago Section, Chair
IEEE Chicago Magnetics Society Chapter, Chair